12 July 2014

The New Zadeka / Новый Задека

M.M. Krasilnikov, 1958
М.М. Красильников, 1958

The New Zadeka 

‘Beware of dreams on Tuesdays or on Thursdays’ —
a friend of mine would give me this advice,
and I recall that boozy fellow always,
when one turns out especially not nice.

Krasilnikov — he was that dream-soothsayer.
How not to think of you whenever now
I’m on the run from killers, violators,
or agents of the FSB (oh, no!)?

Or — there’s no way of getting to the airport,
passport and ticket where? I haven’t a clue,
the doors out of a basement can’t be opened,
a passageway has no way to pass through.

Or like today — cooped in a railway carriage,
with ancient crones trying to sell me stuff,
a stopping train to nowhere, creaky-crawly.
I’m waking up. Wednesday? Likely enough.

Translator's Note: The name Martyn Zadeka, probably invented, was attached to a book of divination that became immensely popular in Russia from the late eighteenth century; it is consulted by Tatiana Larina in Evgenii Onegin. See Faith Wigzell, Reading Russian Fortunes: Print Culture, Gender and Divination in Russia from 1769 (Cambridge, 1998).
The charismatic poet Mikhail Mikhailovich Krasilnikov (1933-96) was expelled from Leningrad University and imprisoned in the GULag from 1956-60 for ‘anti-Soviet activity’. Loseff wrote an elegy for him (see As I Said, 80-81) and also, with Rebecca Pyatkevich, ‘Mikhail Krasilnikov: A Memoir’, Ulbandus Review, 9(2005-6), 69-86.

(Translation © 2014 G.S. Smith)

M. Eryomin, L. Vinogradov, M. Krasilnikov, L. Loseff & Til, 1961
М. Ерёмин, Л. Виноградов, М. Красильников, Л. Лосев и Тиль, 1961

Новый Задека

«Бойся снов на среду и на пятницу», —
так меня учил приятель мой,
и всегда я вспоминаю пьяницу,
если сон особенно дурной.

Толкoватель снов М. М. Красильников,
как же мне не вспомнить о тебе,
убегая от убийц, насильников,
от агентов Г, простите, Б.

В аэропорт дороги заболочены,
потерялся паспорт и билет,
из подвалa двери заколочены,
в проходном дворе прохода нет.

Или нынче — с бабами-торговками
в медленно ползущем никуда
поезде, со скрипом, с остановками.
Просыпаюсь. Вроде бы среда.


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